Anthem Thread for First Impressions, Criticism and Praise


#61

I had one crash while playing Freeplay with a friend. It wouldn’t let me back into that session saying it was private. Thankfully I still got all my loot and experience. One crash over 20+ hours ain’t bad.


#62

Level 13, I’ve crashed twice. One required a hard reboot of my machine. The other was just a quick CTD. It’s definitely the crashiest thing I’ve played in a while.


#63

I’m eleven hours into the game so far and have done quite a bit of Freeplay, simply because I love flying and roaming around. The world looks really good and I love the day/night cycles. I love stumbling upon overgrown ruins and flying through waterfalls. The gameplay is actually pretty decent and I love playing Interceptor and just dashing about. I love my ultimate, just slicing enemies in the face like I’m some invincible genji overwatch. It feels really cool!!!

There are, however, a few things that have bothered me. Others have mentioned it before, but yeah, the lore being buried underneath six menus is a frankly baffling design choice. I’m willing to read up on it but it really does break the emergence. Speaking of which, a lot of the conversations about what is going on plot-wise happen in the middle of combat or when I’m trying to find loot, meaning I’m not paying attention to what is being said.

My biggest gripe with the game so far however, and perhaps this does show how lucky I’ve been that I have not yet encountered crashes, is that I can’t mark things on the map. Let me tag places of interest or other players so I can fly to them in Freeplay???

Also please, Bioware, nerf those wolves. They are too stronk.


#64

oh shit is bioware gonna fix wolves


#65

I think I’m really getting into the Ranger? I don’t know, after 15 levels of big boy season and flippy shit, I’m excited for some dirt simple boots on the ground action.


#66

I’ve pretty much only used Ranger. Storm feels very focused on getting the right drops to combo your powers, and I’m not willing to grind that out right now. Unlocked Interceptor but haven’t really given it a go, for similar reasons; my Ranger is geared, nicely, with a set of options - all because the drops went well for it (like, missions dropping 3 of the same slot options at the same level so I can switch between them to farm their mastery to unlock them to craft).

Main story done. That ending is… Yeah, very Bioware. There’s so much left unfinished, though! I mean, Owen has the Armour of Dawn, the Dominion is still running rampant, there’s all the Legion’s stronghold just sat there seemingly full of tests and secrets, and even some side stories just… fizzle! Ugh. Well, I’ll play through all of the Division 2 Open Beta this weekend, hope my Closed Beta unlocks finally kick in, and play this until the launch on the 15th while I await content.


#67

Usually I don’t rant about bugs since I work in QA and know how difficult it is from both a testing and fixing perspective, but man I ran into a combo of just infuriating issues. Loaded into a mission, a subtitle for a line fired during the loading screen and is now stuck on-screen. Tried toggling subtitles on and off to clear it, but not only does that not fix it, a second subtitle is now stuck on there, blocking any new ones from rolling in since the max is set to two. Whatever, I turn off subtitles.

Then later into the mission, a bug cropped up again that’s happened a couple times already, the sound cuts out completely in-game. There’s no way to fix this without restarting the client completely, but now I’ve got no audio, and broken subtitles, so I just can’t hear any of the mission dialogue.

And to really cap it off, the end-mission cutscene—which I can’t hear or read the dialogue for—can’t be skipped for some reason? I can’t tell if it was forcefully disabled or not working, but the “hold to skip” prompt still appears, so who knows.

I’m not sure who to blame here, but I’ll default to the publisher for very obviously not giving the team the time they needed to polish a game they were forced to make on an engine that clearly isn’t easy to work with.


#68

I got the no-sound bug as well and the only way I could fix it was by closing the game and restarting my xbox

Update: just had a bug where the camera got stuck in the ultimate over the shoulder view, and then the connection dropped, I got booted back to Tarsis and I lost the xp and rewards from doing three freeplay events solo. Coooooooooooooooool.


#69

Took me 25 hours according to Origin to get through the plot missions. I’m pretty sure that I like it. After all this it feels like the game is a walking simulator with some require side activities in a multiplayer addon. Like if in VA-11 Hall-A you went on corporate extraction missions or the Straylight Run in between the conversations instead of mixing drinks. I cared a lot more about what happened in the walking simulator. That’s where 90% of the important stuff happened, aside from a handful of cutscenes at the end of missions. The mech suit stuff is your job. The rest is life, more interesting. I cared a lot more about the people I talked to in there, and it was nice that some characters made the transition between meeting them in the combat part, and then further in the walking simulator. (More Rythe please) The Heart of Rage plot was wallpaper. It might be a really important job, but it’s still their day to day.

Whether it all ways worth the money, that’s another question. Leaning no.


#70

Does anyone know how the Stronghold difficulty works because I got absolutely creamed on my second Tyrant Mine run as a Ranger.

I’m not sure if it was because two of my teammates were level 30, or if maybe the Ranger’s lack of evasion compared to the Interceptor screwed me over. Either way, those elite Skorpion warriors were taking me down in one hit.


#71

Y’know what’s not getting enough praise? Anthem’s friggin’ soundtrack. The opening theme might be as good, if not better* than Mass Effect’s:

*Ok, maybe not better, but close!


#72

It depends in the difficulty you set it at, and your gear. So if your Ranger is not as well geared as your Interceptor, you may struggle in comparison. However, there is a bug right now that occasionally nerfs your health significantly, so if you only see 1 or 2 health bars up top, that might be the issue as well.


#73

Might have been the HP bug some people are reporting? I don’t think difficulty in Strongholds works differently than in Freeplay, though with the “unintuitiveness” of some of the mechanics, who knows.


#74

Is that a vocoder they’re using for the vocals, because I love it.


#75

I bought the soundtrack on release day (it came out a few weeks after the game). I had a free copy with the Legion of Dawn edition but it was bugged on my account so I just bought it on Amazon Music. EA fixed my entitlement, but I wanted to support the composer. I could listen to this soundtrack all day.


#76

So at nearly 30 hours I’ve had the first of a few pretty big bugs. Nothing game breaking, but very annoying. During the Matthias Triple Threat mission all audio cut out during the first battle with Scars (I think?) and never came back. Going through a whole mission with no sound sucked. Good thing I had subtitles turned on, but it was a pain trying to read them while flying from objective to objective.

Then a few cutscenes in the missions prior to that had missing NPCs in them. In one Faye wasn’t there but Haluk kept looking where she was probably supposed to be, then in another I think I was supposed to be in the cutscene but it kept cutting to empty space. It was weird and kind of ruined the cutscene.

I’m still enjoying the game A LOT. The bugs are annoying, but it’s not ruining my overall experience.


#77

I’ve now finished all of the Agent missions and the main plot. Is it just me, or does the overall quality of the writing go way way up after the Tombs mission? I know Cado mentioned the Dax arc on the podcast, and that’s one piece, but there’s a lot more that happens that’s really interesting, human, and good in the late plot/post plot missions. The aftermath of the Dax arc is really good too, and is driving me nuts, because I want to know where that goes.

It’s let down a bit by what Austin talked about (the way you interact, in first person, but don’t initiate a lot of the dialogue beats), and it’s definitely let down by the way a lot of the side conversations take turns that make you wonder if they were supposed to be missions in a different game: where telling this story through action would have been super good, but it didn’t fit the game they eventually shipped.

Ending thoughts (very mildly spoilery) The ‘ending’ feels more like the end of the first act. It’s not so much that its a cliffhanger (which it is). It’s that it has all the attributes of a Bioware midgame: “good job, you did something good. But we’re going to turn all of this on its head in the next act”

IMO: Anthem’s main theme is absolutely better than Mass Effect. Mass Effect’s theme is great, but it’s a take on John Williams style triumphalist Space Opera and it’s complexity is limited by that. Anthem is going somewhere more subtle and primal. It’s layered and moody and I love it.

Will keep playing as I still enjoy the combat loop, a lot, especially once the difficulty is on Hard.


#78

I think the writing in the main arc (so far - Act 0 or whatever they want to call it) is fine, it’s just that - to me - the story seems relatively boring.
The side stories are more interesting and I actually like most of the banter between all the nameless NPCs you walk past. With some of the interactions I would have liked there to be and option C “not getting involved/walk away from this conversation” but that’s not the story they want to tell, I’m fine with that. I can see how some of the Tarsis interactions could have led into missions, but as far as I can recall none really suffer from it and it’s not as if there weren’t a good amount of sideplots that play out in- and outside the fort and I hope we’ll get some more in future updates/DLC.

Also, all of the things related to those stupid radio shows is hilarious and good (“The Dawnguard answers to noone… except X”, Brin fanfic-ing, Faye trying to get you into her favourite series).


#79

Well, I’ve played around 60-70 hours, and I’ve got a Masterwork-rated Storm javelin, and have had an overall really good time. I’ll probably drop in here and there to work on gearing up my other javelins, but I’m probably going to take some time away to let the devs do some more work. The core of this game is really good, and they’ve set up some interesting new directions for the story. But there are just so many QoL things that need to be added, and the endgame grind needs to be at least a bit more rewarding, even after their latest loot patch. I sincerely hope that over the next month or so, they iron out some of the lingering bugs (looking at you, health bug), and work on just creating a more friction-less experience of getting in and out of missions, finding people and things to do in freeplay, and creating a more compelling endgame.

Honestly, they could probably get good mileage out of just buffing the drop rates of MW and Legendaries (particularly in the higher GM modes, to give incentive to run them), setting higher minimums for inscriptions (getting something that gives you 1% higher damage feels bad), and then re-balancing some of the strongholds. Heart of Rage in particular is simply not worth doing at this point, given how damage-spongey the final boss is relative to the other strongholds.

Like I said, the core game is great fun, some of the most fun I’ve had in a shooter-looter, but it’s pretty clear that the game needed another 6 months, and they just had to get something out before the end of the fiscal quarter.


#80

Pretty much. It’s where the story starts having actual momentum and gives you a greater sense of “what am I doing right now and for what purpose”.

The opening hours are so incredibly messy because there’s two inciting incidents to the plot, and the cinematic intro takes place in the second one, and then after an abrupt time skip and a couple of rudimentary missions, a character finally explains what the original inciting incident was.

Anthem’s story ideas are inherently more interesting and ambitious than Mass Effect’s, but that game succeeded in part because the simplistic story gave more room for the writers to spend time fleshing out the world. Anthem’s worldbuilding and Heart of Rage story arc feel like they’re fighting for attention.